How To Recover Deleted Or Lost Files
It's a sickening feeling, the moment you realise that some important
document, or irreplaceable photos have vanished from your computer.
But that is no reason to despair. The chances are that the data
is still present, even if you know you deleted it. Your computer
operating system just does not know how to find it any more.
The four most common reasons for data loss are:
- Deletion. You deleted the file by accident
during a disk cleanup, or because you thought it was no longer
required. It is not in the Recycle Bin. However, the data will
still exist until the space it occupied on the disk is are-used
by another file.
- Overwriting. You saved a new file over the
top of the old one. However, the old data may still exist, and
- File system corruption. The disk suddenly
appears empty, or the file and folder names contain gibberish.
The files probably still exist, but the pointers to them have
been lost or corrupted and the operating system cannot find them.
- Physical damage or hardware failure. You receive
error messages when you try to read the disk, or it is not recognised
by the computer at all. The data is still likely to be present
on the disk itself, but the drive is incapable of accessing it.
In each case, there is a good chance that the data still exists.
The computer operating system isn't able to see it, but data recovery
software may be able to. If the problem is a hardware failure then
a data recovery service may be able to get back the data using special
Prepare For Data Recovery
There is one cardinal rule of data recovery: for the best chance
of recovering the files you must not write any new data to the disk
they were stored on. The old data will only remain on the disk until
the space it occupied is used by another file. If the disk is your
computer's main drive, then the drive is being written to all the
time. You should turn off the computer immediately, and use another
computer to search for a solution to recover your data. You should
put your computer's hard disk in another computer to do the data
recovery, or use data recovery that runs from a CD or floppy disk,
because installing the data recovery software on the drive could
overwrite the very data you want to recover.
Choosing The Data Recovery Method
Data recovery tools use different methods to try to recover data.
Some tools are designed for recovering deleted files, others are
better at restoring overwritten files, or recovering files from
disks that are physically damaged. Some data recovery software products
have been developed specifically for recovering photo images, or
Microsoft Word or Excel document files. Such products may succeed
where others fail because they understand what these files look
like, and can recognise their data when other clues to its existence
It can be difficult to choose the most appropriate data recovery
method. Tech-Pro has created a website called Get Data Back. It
has a Data Recovery Wizard that asks questions about the data you
have lost and how it was lost, and then recommends the product that
is most likely to be successful. It will also advise you if it would
be better to use a professional data recovery service. Give the
Get Data Back data recovery site (http://www.get-data-back.com)
a try if you need to recover lost files.
More Data Recovery Resources
Data Recovery Software
Back Up Devices
Back Up Software